(WSYR-TV) — Thanks to holiday leftovers, it’s all too easy to let food pile up and take over your fridge. Consumer Reports’ Paul Hope has some tips on how to keep your foods safe and your fridge organized so you can maximize what you can take home for the holidays.
“A week or two before a big holiday meal I like to go through the fridge, stop buying new groceries, and try to use up things I already have. It’s also a good time to throw out anything that’s expired or purge things you know you’re not going to use before the end of the year.” says Hope. Hope also shares that once you’re close to a big leftover day, you can adjust your fridge’s shelves to accommodate more food.
Paul Hope uses his fridge organization practices all year. For the top shelf, Hope says “you want to keep raw, ready-to-eat foods, like prepped salads or desserts.” For the middle shelf, Hope recommends using it as your prepared dish zone — prepped foods that are covered and ready to be heated. Lastly, Hope says that the bottom shelf is a great place for thawing meats. This prevents dripping on your prepared meals. Less perishable items can be placed on the side shelves.
What about those inevitable leftovers? Consumer Reports recommends breaking these down into meal sized portions and store them in shallow, covered containers. Anything you won’t eat in three to four days, you can freeze.
Hope states, “To preserve freshness and quality of foods, you really want to keep things airtight — so use products dedicated for that, like freezer bags.”
With these simple tricks, you’re bound to have plenty of room for leftovers.